the return of the junco (and Lart)

It's been less than a year since we started backyard birdwatching (not really something you can do from three floors up in the comparatively treeless Mission) so we don't really know what the seasonal bird patterns are yet (nor do we actually keep track). At some point in the spring though, we noticed that the flock of juncos that would visit every day was no longer hanging around. They'd been pretty constant since we moved here so we kind of took them for granted. We quickly forgot about them as we were entertained by house finches, purple finches, goldfinches, hummingbirds, and other random visitors. So it was like seeing a long lost friend when we randomly looked out the window yesterday and saw a lone male junco pecking around on the wet ground. Today there were a few more so it seems like they're back for good. I don't know what they're a harbinger of, but I welcome them.

Also back this week, albeit only temporarily and from much further away, is Lart! She's touring with her band Coconut as they play some shows with Deerhoof. We haven't seen her since spring either, so it should be a happy reunion. Now here's the VeganMoFo food tie-in: this summer she sent us a box of goodies from Berlin, which included some tasty spreads. Why aren't vegan spreads a bigger thing here? I mean there's Tartex and hummus and whatnot, but we could use some more interesting options. The flavors of all these were not necessarily so distinct, but they tasted good and that's what matters. We also kind of dig the graphic design of the labels.

Last week we were in a sandwich mood and had run out of Vegenaise, so I took some inspiration from those spreads and decided to whip up our own. I used our hand blender and the little faux food processor cup it came with and blended up a bunch of random stuff (carrot, walnuts, ginger, miso, chard, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper). It turned out surprisingly good and we spread it on some homemade rolls with some Tofutti cheese, Tofurky Philly style slices (so much for my not really buying seitan), grilled onions and zucchini. Now that was a good lunch. So thanks Lart! Go see Coconut!

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